Before Christmas a year ago, a friend made some creamy limoncello and shared it as tastings with several friends...It was love at first sip!
My friend Janet and I decided we were going to make some for this Christmas and we started on the project quite early in November...Although it was supposed to be a joint project, poor Janet ended up with the drudge part of the work...she was the one who got the lemons (gorgeous Meyers), peeled them, and got the peelings to steep in the vodka.
The process of making limoncello is actually very easy. Essentially, a grain alcohol is infused with lemon zest. These two ingredients make up the citrus part (try to use organic lemons – less pesticides). Make sure you remove the pith (the white part) of the lemon, lest your limoncello be bitter.
The third ingredient, sugar, is required to make the simple syrup which is in turn added to the citrus part. When you make the simple syrup with milk, you have a limoncello cream.
We hunted for a recipe on line and settled on this one, found in a blog titled 'she loves biscotti' - following is the original recipe, then below is our own interpretation.
As time passed, more vodka and more lemons were added and a larger container had to be found...!
Crema di Limoncello di Vittoria
Limoncello, is an Italian liquor, which is usually served after dinner. This classic digestif is best served ice cold in shot glasses. It is made with three basic ingredients; lemons, alcohol and sugar. For the recipe Crema di Limoncello di Vittoria, we require a fourth ingredient…milk.
- 4 lemons, peel only
- 500 mL alcohol (94%)
- 1 Liter UHT milk * (Vittoria uses Grand Pré 2%milk-found at Costco)
- 600 grams granulated sugar (about 3 cups)
- 2 tablespoons white vanilla extract
- Thoroughly wash the lemons (preferably organic).
- With the use of a vegetable or potato peeler, remove lemon peel. (Avoid the white pith as this will make your limoncello bitter).
- Place lemon peel in a mason jar (or other container with a tight-fitting lid).
- Add alcohol, close tightly, and let steep for at least 6 days or up to one month in a cool dark place. Swirl jar around twice a day.
- Remove lemon zest (should be a pale color- the alcohol on the other hand should be a bright yellow).
- Strain (with a cheesecloth) in a clean bottle.
- Heat milk and sugar over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves.
- Add vanilla extract.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before adding to alcohol.
- Strain (with the help of a cheesecloth) in decanter with alcohol.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
60 lemons, peeled
16 cups (128 fluid ounces) vodka
32 cups (2 gallons) milk
24 cups (10 pounds) granulated sugar
16 Tablespoons (8 fluid ounces) vanilla
We mixed ours in two batches of:
8 cups (64 fluid ounces) vodka
16 cups (1 gallon) milk
12 cups (5 pounds) granulated sugar
8 Tablespoons (4 fluid ounces) vanilla
Both batches yielded, approximately 35 splits. A split holds 375 ml or "half" a wine bottle = 12.7 ounces each or two and a half glasses.